Psychological and sociological factors play a significant role in healthy aging. For example, Senior Citizens’ happiness and self-esteem could diminish due to adverse social changes. Many Older Adults experience isolation and loneliness from reduced community, family, and cultural connections. Lonely individuals risk developing depression and other ailments.
Video Calling Combats Depression
Research shows that video calling goes a long way in helping your loved one stay connected. A longitudinal study published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychology looked at the impact of online communication on depression symptoms in Older Adults. Researchers found that “Older adults who use video chat such as Skype…have a lower risk of developing depression.”
The researchers looked at different types of online communication and their association with symptoms of depression. The 1,424 participants used either no online contact, email, social networks, video chat, or instant messaging. Then, they took an eight-item depression scale with a two-year follow-up. Those who used video chat had significantly fewer depressive symptoms compared to non-users. Whereas, using email, social media, and instant messaging did not yield a significant difference.
Seeing Your Face Makes a Difference
Modern technology lets Senior Citizens have regular contact with family and friends. Seeing and being seen (and heard) has social value and creates a deeper connection. A case study, published in The Journal of Community Informatics, followed 16 Older Adults who regularly use video communication. Participants recognized an intrinsic value of seeing the person they’re communicating with. They would bear with poor quality sound and images for the chance to connect with others.
In the end, video communication improves Senior Citizens’ wellbeing and quality of life. However, the value of video calls depends on the ease of use. If an individual finds the technology barrier insurmountable, they may not receive the psychological benefits. Assure your older loved one that making video calls is easy once you know how to do it.
Video chatting goes a long way in combating loneliness and isolation, as well as having a Certified Homemaker-Home Health Aide or Companion Caregiver assisting your loved one at home. At Anita’s Angels, Inc., We are Families Helping Families. Learn how we can help your loved one live independently for longer. Call 908-788-9390.